FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Glenn Benton’s daughter says he has never asked for any form of charity in his life. But Thursday, the World War II veteran from Fairfield received a big help.
Benton is a recent winner of the Heat for Heroes contest, sponsored by Westport-based Economy Fuel. He will receive up to $1,500 in free heating oil from the company this winter.
A Fairfield native, Benton served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He worked in the Quartermaster Corps, brining supplies to his fellow troops in England, France and Germany. While receiving his first free delivery of oil, he shared some stories from his time in Europe, including a brief run-in with Gen. George Patton and his time playing the accordion for his fellow soldiers.
He left the Army as a sergeant after the war and went on to co-run Benton Motors in Fairfield with his brother. The 88-year-old now works at Bruce Bennett Nissan in Wilton, even after many of his Army buddies have since retired.
“They all eventually retired from their respective careers and then died,” says Benton. “That’s why I keep working, or I’d die, too. I actually retired from the parts department at Bennett, but on the drive home, I realized I’d made a terrible mistake. So after taking a vacation with my wife, I went right back to work.”
Each year, Economy Fuel accepts nominations for local veterans through its Heat for Heroes website, which also sells merchandise to raise money for the Fairfield veterans’ charity, Save Our Vets. Benton was nominated by his daughter, Bonnie Lindsay.
“He has a difficult time paying his bills and lives a very simple life with my mother,” Lindsay wrote in her nomination letter. “He has never accepted any kind of charity, either!”
“At Economy Fuel we believe the men and women who have served our country deserve our thanks each and every day,” Economy Fuel Managing Director Mike Gill said in a statement. "Sgt. Benton put his life on the line for our country so many years ago, and now we’re honored to help him, and other veterans, stay warm this winter.”